# Issue surrounding the IEEETran referenceing controls - setting maximum number of authors

I appreciate this is a question that has been touched upon several times before, but I'm finding that while the answers have been somewhat helpful, none have solved my issue.

I am writing up my thesis, and I wish to control the number of authors appearing in my references before et al is used. I am adopting the ieeetr bibliography style alongside bibtex. I've installed ieeetrantools to enable the \bstctlcite command in the tex document, and I've included an @IEEEtranBSTCTL entry in the bibliography. However, I encounter two problems; the \bstctlcite results in an empty entry appearing at the start of my bibliography, and the number of authors is not truncated at all despite changing settings in the @IEEEtranBSTCTL.

Below is a minimal example of the tex document. Note, I am using a custom style package used for my university - I've found that this isn't the issue as the problem persists when I change to the IEEETran style. I have also included all packages I am using in case any of them are causing clashes.

\documentclass[12pt,twoside]{muthesis}
\usepackage{a4}
\usepackage{epsfig}
%\usepackage{path}
\usepackage{amsfonts}
\usepackage{duckuments}
\usepackage{amssymb}
\usepackage{ieeetrantools}
\usepackage{amsmath,mathrsfs,psfrag}
\usepackage{pst-all}
\usepackage{fancyhdr}
\usepackage{color}
\usepackage{hyperref}
\usepackage{siunitx}
\usepackage{subcaption}
\usepackage{graphicx}
\usepackage[numbers,sort&compress]{natbib}

\begin{document}

\bstctlcite{IEEEexample:BSTcontrol}

\cite{Filippetto_1}

\bibliography{test}
\bibliographystyle{ieeetr}

\end{document}


And here is an example .bib file

@IEEEtranBSTCTL{IEEEexample:BSTcontrol,
CTLuse_forced_etal = "yes",
CTLmax_names_forced_etal = "6",
CTLnames_show_etal = "12"
}

@article{Filippetto_1,
author = {Filippetto, D. and Bellaveglia, M. and Castellano, M. and Chiadroni, E. and Cultrera, L. and {Di Pirro}, G. and Ferrario, M. and Ficcadenti, L. and Gallo, A. and Gatti, G. and Pace, E. and Vaccarezza, C. and Vicario, C. and Bacci, A. and Rossi, A. R. and Serafini, L. and Cianchi, A. and Marchetti, B. and Giannessi, L. and Labat, M. and Quattromini, M. and Ronsivalle, C. and Marrelli, C. and Migliorati, M. and Mostacci, A. and Palumbo, L. and Serluca, M.},
journal = {Physical Review Special Topics - Accelerators and Beams},
pages = {092804},
title = {{Phase space analysis of velocity bunched beams}},
volume = {14},
year = {2011}
}


I am using TeXStudio if that is at all relevant. Thanks in advance for your assistance!

• Welcome to TeX.SE. – Mico Sep 24 '19 at 5:42

The ieeetr bibliography style is truly ancient -- meaning, at least 34 years [!] old. (Yes, a few select bibliography styles such as plain, abbrv, and ieeetr have been around almost as long as LaTeX and TeX itself...) Given its venerable age, the ieeetr style simply doesn't know what to "do" with the \bstctlcite macro that's provided by the IEEEtrantools package.
You should switch to the IEEEtran bibliography style and run a full recompile cycle: LaTeX, BibTeX, and LaTeX twice more.
Incidentally, the value of CTLnames_show_etal should not exceed that of CTLmax_names_forced_etal. Thus, do change CTLnames_show_etal = "12" to CTLnames_show_etal = "6".
• Thank you so much for your response, this has rectified my issue! I had previously set CTLnames_show_etal = "12" to CTLnames_show_etal = "1", so this was a typo on my part, apologies! – bilkins Sep 24 '19 at 9:42